May, 20 2013 08:43:59

Leadership sought in pollution battle

Part of the Nhue River in the Thuong Tin District is seriously polluted by untreated wastewater from craft villages and industrial zones along with household waste. The country needs stronger environmental management to deal with water pollution, an expert says.—VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Lam

HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam needs a better monitoring and reporting system of water pollution in rural and urban areas, according to experts who spoke at a recent seminar on environmental management held in HCM City.

Duong Xuan Diep, deputy head of the Institute of Science and Environment Management, said that water pollution was worsening, especially "non-point" pollution sources caused by such factors as soil flow, rainfall, atmospheric deposition and water drainage.

Non-point pollution, which is difficult to identify, analyse and control, is one of the main causes of lower water quality in rural areas, he added.

Seminar participants said the overuse of fertilisers and plant-protection chemicals were polluting waterways.

They said a joint circular on water-pollution control in rural areas should be issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The government, they said, should also offer incentives to promote production, trade and use of organic fertilisers and compost.

Strict sanctions to control water environment in rural areas, and better monitoring of water pollution by local governments, were also needed.

Better cultivation methods and control of rainfall runoff would help minimise non-point pollution.

Participants urged the Government to organise training activities on technical transfer and improve management agencies at the local level.

Begun in 2010, the Technical Cooperation Project, implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, has a total investment of JPY700 million (nearly US$7 million), sourced from the Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The project aims to help enforce the water-management programme of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The project targets Ha Noi, Hai Phong and HCM City and the provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

It has helped improve water-management policy-making and administrative regulations as well as information management.

In addition, the project has raised the awareness of environmental issues among the public and industrial sector.

One of its most important outcomes was the Pollution Source Inventory, which is used for water-pollution control in target cities and provinces. —VNS

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